Chapter 80: Put on an Act
“Isn’t this precisely what Master wants?” Qian Xi nodded slightly.
“But don’t forget, Ye Junqing is currently staying in the Imperial Palace, and in particular, Guan Osprey Palace. Who knows how many people in this Imperial Palace are watching his moves both openly and in the shadows? It’s impossible to guard against so many eyes! If this consort’s guess isn’t wrong, the assassins just now were sent by His Majesty. That’s the only possible explanation for why that fool would know about the matter beforehand and not be scared!” Yu Funing bit her lips hard. She felt even more hatred for Ye Hongyi now.
“Then that means… His Majesty already knows that the Esteemed Prince was investigating the cause of Yao Moxin’s death? His Majesty was afraid that the Esteemed Prince would find out about the truth so he’s making the first move to gain the advantage? Then… wouldn’t the Esteemed Prince be in danger?” Qian Xi’s brows furrowed and she looked towards Yu Funing worriedly.
“His Majesty has always had a mistrustful personality. If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t have schemed to take away half of Huan Heng’s military power. As of now, since he has decided to kill Ye Junqing, he’ll definitely continue trying until he succeeds! Qian Xi, this consort can’t stand by and watch him die! No matter what methods this consort has to resort to, this consort must save him!”
A moist layer appeared over her crystal-like eyes. Yu Funing squeezed Qian Xi’s hand as she cried silently. She could endure having a man she didn’t like do as he pleased on top of her and she could endure the fact that the man she loved felt nothing for her. The only thing she really couldn’t endure was watching the person she cared about the most die in front of her.
“Niang niang, Qian Xi doesn’t know how to persuade you. Qian Xi just wants to remind you that, before you do anything, think about your father.” Qian Xi knew that her master had already decided on this matter so trying to persuade her was meaningless.
After they left Fragrant Steps Pavilion, Ye Junqing suppressed his anger and followed silently after Yao Mowan. When he saw that she really had no intention of explaining anything, he finally lost his patience and stepped up to block her way.
“Don’t you feel like you should be saying something?” Ye Junqing growled in a low, angry voice.
“En… Prince is still better looking when you smile. The way you look right now is pretty terrible, Mowan’s scared ah.” Yao Mowan patted her chest in a convincing manner as she batted her eyelashes playfully.
“This trick of your’s is useless on me! Confess! Why did you make Yan Nansheng dress that way? Why did you send him to assassinate this prince? What exactly is your motive!? Hurry up and confess!” He had known that Yao Mowan wasn’t simple from the first time he saw her, which was in the Esteemed Prince’s residence. After interacting with her, he found that she was a complete riddle. He felt that he would never be able to see through her.
“You really didn’t notice?” Yao Mowan widened her eyes and looked at Ye Junqing with a surprised expression.
“N… notice what?” Ye Junqing started losing his confidence when he saw Yao Mowan’s mysterious look and his voice became a lot quieter.
“Yu Funing has a hidden guard named Fei Luan!” replied Yao Mowan in a deadpan tone.
“Ha! Don’t you also have one too? What’s so special about this? Stop trying to distract me! You’d better not tell this prince that you had Yan Nansheng attack this prince just to lure out Yu Funing’s hidden guard! Only an idiot would believe that!” She clearly had looks capable of causing the collapse of a city, but in Ye Junqing’s eyes, this face always contained craftiness that made him skeptical of all her words.
“The main point isn’t that Yu Funing has a hidden guard, but who she called the hidden guard out for! Ye Junqing, you also shouldn’t try to say that you didn’t notice the feelings Yu Funing have for you. And it isn’t just a little either, her feelings seem quite deep!” Yao Mowan lifted her brows as she looked towards Ye Junqing. His handsome face truly had the ability to capture souls. How did she end up missing it back then?
“Don’t make things up! How could there be anything between this prince and Consort Xian? Moreover, this prince doesn’t remember ever seeing her until now! And, this prince’s heart…” When Yao Mowan saw Ye Junqing hastily refuting, she knew that she had successfully distracted him.
“And your heart only contains Yao Moxin, everyone knows that. After all, if it weren’t for that, you wouldn’t be in such a situation today. However, the fact that you don’t like Consort Xian doesn’t necessarily mean that she doesn’t like you! A thing like love doesn’t require mutual consent. You probably know this better than anyone.” Yao Mowan’s tone became a little more serious. Her heart faintly ached.
“That’s right, Consort Xian did call out her hidden guard, but it might not have been for saving this prince. It was such a sudden event. It’s possible that she called the hidden guard out to protect herself, isn’t that so? Even if I back down a thousand steps and act convinced that you’re right and that Consort Xian has feelings for me, but so what?” Ye Junqing didn’t feel that it was possible for Yao Mowan to convince Yan Nansheng with this. Yan Nanshen was the grand martial arts alliance head! When had he ever done something this shady? Getting him to conceal his face was probably harder than reaching the sky!
“So what? If Consort Xian likes you, she’d likely mistaken Mowan for a love rival and try to get rid of Mowan. Since she has a hidden guard, if she decided to kill Mowan, how could Mowan survive?” said Yao Mowan earnestly.
“You have Yin Xue, so how is this any threat?” Ye Junqing responded with a cold sneer.
“It’s precisely because Yin Xue couldn’t find the hiding place of her hidden guard that I had Yan Nansheng help with this act. In reality, Yin Xue had been watching from a concealed location the entire time. You probably also know that hidden guards reveal their locations from the moment they show themselves. Yin Xue only needed one look. Then, that Fei Luan will never be a threat in front of her again,” said Yao Mowan with a sincere expression.
“You finally admitted that you were using this prince! But why was Yan Nansheng so willing to carry out your commands?” said Ye Junqing between gritted teeth.
“There’s a sentence that goes, ‘after dying beneath blooming tree peonies (a beautiful woman’s skirt), even becoming a ghost marks one as distinguished.’ Mowan’s a beauty who’s capable of enchanting even the birds and the beasts and making flowers blush from shame, of course Yan Nansheng feels that it’s a great honor to be able to do something for Mowan!” Yao Mowan stroked her cheek delicately, then gave Ye Junqing a bright, smug smile.
“Person with no integrity! This prince cuts off all ties with him!” Ye Junqing couldn’t take Yao Mowan’s narcissism anymore and turned to storm off.
Yao Mowan watched as Ye Junqing’s figure gradually disappeared, then stopped smiling and sighed. Junqing, forgive Mowan for not telling you the truth. Last lifetime, Mowan made you suffer so much for the sake of that beast. This lifetime, Mowan will act only for you!
In the desolate Pure Flowers Palace, Yao Suluan was reclining on the chaise lounge dispiritedly and gazing at her slender white fingers. The bright red nutmeg flower dye on her nails seemed to flicker in her eyes like flames, sometimes bright, sometimes dim.
“Niang niang, the afternoon meal has been prepared. You should eat a little.” Ming Yu walked carefully to Yao Suluan’s side and said this softly. Ever since that incident at Jade Lake, Yao Suluan had locked herself in Pure Flowers Palace. It has already been half a month. During this time, she rarely ate and barely even slept. Most of the time, she was sitting on the chaise lounge. Ming Yu didn’t know what she was thinking about. She just knew that from time to time, Yao Suluan would cry and laugh. Her behavior seemed crazy.
“Yao Yu is just a four-year-old child, how could he have found his way to the Jade Lake? And how could Su Muzi have possibly allowed Yao Yu to leave Guan Osprey Palace by himself? If Yao Yu hadn’t been alone, who was it that left him by Jade Lake and what was that person’s motive? This consort clearly didn’t push Yao Yu, nor did this consort threaten him, so why did he jump into the water? Why did Su Muzi just happen to appear at this time? Following that, Yao Mowan, His Majesty, and Father all came much earlier than expected! The most suspicious part is, why was no one able to find Yao Yu? Was the water flow really that rapid? Was all of this really just a coincidence, or was it someone’s deliberate arrangement? Who was the person who arranged it?” Yao Suluan’s dark eyes were sharp despite their lack of focus as she continuously muttered this in bits and pieces. She had been asking herself these questions over and over these past days, but never found an answer.
“Niang niang, health is most important. You should take a meal first.” Ming Yu looked at Yao Suluan with pity. As she watched this woman who had once been the honored Imperial Noble Consort, she couldn’t help but sigh at the fates of the women in the Inner Palace. To the people outside, they seemed to live lives of luxury and glory, but in reality, only the person who drinks the water knows best its taste.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira
8.19.18 I’m recruiting translators for this series with plans to make it my next main project around Winter Break. However, to do that while not failing my college classes, I need at least 2 translator helpers. Please check out this [[recruitment page link]] for more details and let me know if you’re interested!
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